A body tasked by the Scottish Government to oversee a strategic vision for the North Sea oil and gas industry has updated an initial report it produced in 2012.
The Oil and Gas Industry Leadership Group (ILG), co-chaired by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and Melfort Cambell, founder of Imes Group, said it was an appropriate time to refresh the strategy in the wake of low oil prices and the establishment of new bodies such as the Oil and Gas Authority and the government’s own Energy Jobs Taskforce.
The Maximising Value report acknowledges the loss of 65,000 North Sea -related jobs across the UK compared to four years ago when the first report was published. The group still targets total sales of £30billion by the domestic supply chain for 2020, while the number of firms – 2,000 – remains unchanged.
The ILG, which is scheduled to meet three times a year, pledged to table a progress report setting out progress and milestones at each meeting. The group said the updates will cover enhanced support for the supply chain, international support for new exporting, development of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre proposal outlined in the new City Region Deal and how the oil and gas supply chain can make a significant contribution towards the need for a more cost effective model.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “While it is clear that the oil and gas industry faces severe challenges from a low global oil price, there are still opportunities that Scotland can capture from new discoveries and through our world-class supply chain.
“The First Minister visited Aberdeen last week to announce funding of £24.5 million – part of a £400million package of support for the North East – to boost research and development, kick-start innovation projects and help industry workers develop new skills.
“This strategy, which we committed to refresh in our most recent Programme for Government, builds on these themes, supporting the industry to maintain it global position and to drive forward the changes required to increase growth in international and supply chain sales and production efficiency. I also look forward to seeing the Oil and Gas Technology Centre develop and grow into a world class R&D hub.
“With 22 billion barrels of oil & gas remaining, the sector can still have a strong future. This will require a concerted effort from everyone – industry, governments and the Oil & Gas Authority – and this refreshed strategy sets out a clear path for all to follow.”
Mr Campbell, said: “Scotland’s oil and gas sector is in a completely different place than it was in 2012 when the original strategy was launched.
“Collaboration will be key as we focus our efforts around internationalisation and innovation as well as ensuring the supply chain is embedded in everything we do and its technology and capability not only enables optimisation of value from UK production but also maximises the international opportunities to ensure the long-term success of the sector in Scotland.”